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March 14, 2020

What Is An Instant Pot – Uses, Things To Know, Accessories

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Hi Friends,

I am very happy to share this article about the most trending kitchen gadget across the globe, Instant Pot. When I was planning to buy from Amazon, my younger sister Radha who is in US volunteered to help me out by adapting my stove top recipes to instant pot and to share the Indian recipes with me with step by step pictures and video in her YouTube channel, Cyber kitchen

She has been using Instant Pot for more than a year and she has gone crazy with this gadget. She has also posted few basic instant pot Indian recipes video in her channel. So with the help of my sister, I am planning to share some instant pot recipes in my blog. Stay tuned ! To begin with, here is a basic post about what is Instant pot, Is it useful and beneficial for Indian cooking, difference between pressure cooker and Instant Pot, accessories of Instant Pot, where to buy etc. I hope this post will be helpful for people who are looking to buy one or how to get started with it.

Please check how to use Instant pot buttons, cooking time chart. 


What is an Instant Pot

Instant Pot is an all-in-one multi-programmable cooking device that works as a pressure cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warming pot etc. With instant pot you can make all your favorite meals with minimum effort and less time. People love it because it is convenient, a time-saving device that lets you cook quickly without any supervision. So it is truly a useful addition to our kitchen.

Benefits of Instant Pot

  1. An Instant Pot can replace many kitchen appliances so half of your kitchen space is saved.
  2. Compared to cooking with other appliances, instant pot saves energy up to 70%.
  3. Unlike a stove-top pressure cooker, you don’t have to keep checking the food. Just set the time and forget it.
  4. Safe to use. Instant Pot is designed to operate within safety limits. For example it doesn’t allow pressure cooking when the Lid is not firmly clamped.
  5. Interior comes in stainless steel which is healthier than the non-stick pans that contain harmful Teflon coating.
  6. It is easy to clean. 

Instant Pot : How to get started

  1. Perform a water test in your new instant pot before making your first meal.
  2. Wash the inner pot with hot water and soap before first use (sterilize).
  3. Wipe clean the bottom and sides of the inner pot with a damp cloth and ensure the heating element is dry and free of food debris.
  4. Always check the sealing ring is properly installed before closing the Lid.
  5. Don’t overfill food in the inner pot, it may cause clogging the venting knob. Make sure to fill food within the Max level.
  6. Don’t touch the lid when cooking.
  7. Replace the sealing ring every year as it stretches over time.

Things to know about Instant Pot

  1. You need to lock the lid for all instant pot functions except sauté.
  2. The cooking time you set is not exactly the time Instant Pot takes to cook your food. It takes some extra time to preheat and develop pressure (4 - 5 mins) before the timer begins.
  3. Instant Pot needs at least 1 cup of liquid to create pressure and cook.
  4. Instant pot will show a "Burn" message when there's no enough liquid in the food. Press cancel and stop cooking.
  5. Steaming is not the same as pressure cooking, steaming creates more pressure inside the pot, so make sure to fill the bottom of the pot with water and the food is elevated in a trivet or steamer basket.
  6. Instant pot cooking time and depressurization time (Natural Release) varies based on how much food you put into it.
  7. You can use the handles on either side of instant pot as a lid holder as well.
  8. You can use Instant Pot for reheating your food by keeping food in the stackable pans with water filled outside.
  9. Instant Pot is not suitable for deep frying. In some models baking options are available. Grilling can be done in airfryer mode.

Instant Pot Accessories

  1. Steamer Basket - used to steam veggies or eggs without losing its nutrients and texture.
  2. Trivet with handle - used to steam potatoes, corn, cauliflower, broccoli etc, also serves as a pan lifter when baking.
  3. 3 tier stackable pans -  used for pot-in-pot cooking, variety of foods can be cooked simultaneously, can also be used separately as a dessert pan for cheesecakes or baking pan.
  4. Silicone oven mitts - used to hold/lift the hot inner pot when cooking is done.
  5. Idli plates - used to steam idli, puttu, momos, rice dumplings etc.
  6. Glass Lid - can be used if needed in Sauté and keep warm modes.
Indian cooking accessories like stackable pan, idli plate have to be bought on our own. My sister bought from Patidar Super market. You can also find in Amazon or buy from India based on your need. 

Source :

Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker

We all grew up using stovetop pressure cookers and have been using stovetop cooking methods for many years to make elaborate meals. But nowadays due to lack of time people seek out something that cooks quick & easy and saves time. So based on modern needs kitchen accessories are evolving from traditional pressure cooker to electric cooker and then came the Instant Pot - a multi-functional pressure cooker.

Traditional stovetop cooking is definitely the best choice for certain types of food, but when it comes to safety features and ease of use, Instant pot is the best. The main difference between a standard pressure cooker and the Instant Pot comes down to usability, technology and control. While our good old pressure cookers were often subject to explosion, causing mess and  injuries, the Instant Pot is designed with safety mechanisms that make it much safer to use. Instant Pot comes with many pre-programmed smart features and is designed to make easy & mess-free cooking without compromising the taste and hygiene.

Cooking with a stovetop pressure cooker needs inspection like watching the whistle sound and switching off, whereas in Instant Pot we just click a button and don’t have to watch it at all. So the level of control you get from instant pot is a major advantage. With the newer editions of instant pot, you have Alexa and WIFI connectivity too.

Instant pot can be used anywhere with a power outlet so you can take it with you on a vacation and cook a tasty meal instead of opting for unhealthy junk food from shops.

I cook almost all Indian recipes everyday with my Instant Pot for more than a year now. Especially when making rice, one-pot meals, curries and desserts, it comes out perfect every time.

Finally pressure cooked or instant pot always depends on one’s personal preference. Most of the features of instant pot are user-friendly and novel that cannot be matched by other kitchen devices. 
All you need to do is spend some time with your instant pot to master it in order to make the most out of it. So Instant Pot makes life easier and is definitely worth buying.

Where To Buy

There are various models in instant pot that comes with different features. So please do some research  and buy the best one that suits your needs.  My sister bought from Costco that came with all accessories. I have shared the link below. 
  1. Costco - My sister bought from here. 
  2. Walmart
Indian cooking accessories like idli steaming plate, stackable pans are bought from Patidar super market. You can also get in Amazon.

Next I will share how to use instant pot in different modes in a separate post !

Ok friends, catch you all in the next post ! Take care :))

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G3 said...

The instapot accessories listed here says three tier stackable pans, idli steamer and glass lid these are not listed as accessories in or in Costco should these be bought separately ?

Chitra said...

Hi, Indian cooking accessories have to be bought on our own. My sister bought them from Patidar super market. You can also find in Amazon. Thanks.